Posts Tagged With: azalea

March Madness in The Garden of Goods and Evils

Just sharing a few images of what is flowering in the Garden of Goods and Evils this morning. I’ve got some other images of garden “winter survival” and miscellaneous work going on to share later.

It is a beautiful day along the Mississippi Gulf Coast region. Crisp, high in the lows 60’s. We started out in the upper 30’s and it was 40 by the time I got outside with the camera and phone.  It is still only 50, but that won’t keep me from hanging laundry on the line!

Here are a few images from my old phone to share. I love this time of year in the garden.

Good, old-fashioned, spirea. A standard for vintage gardens. I believe this old shrub is S. x vanhouttei, but it could be S. thunbergii.  Now, I could go back outside and get a better glimpse and key the plant out better, but at the moment, I’ve spent way too much time working on this post instead of projects that will actually show me a little money.

My husband has commented that these two azaleas which have nearly doubled in size since we moved here 6.5 years ago might need a good whacking back. But, I’m not much into whacking.  In general, especially for azaleas, I think the bigger the better. And they do provide a nice screening.

This lovely two-tone pinkish azalea was planted, like most of the azaleas in my yard, by a previous owner. I am lucky to have two of them. They really brighten up the darker areas under the canopy of a large oak. If I thought about it much, I’d probably fret that I have way too many lovely plants without any sort of scientific  name/label in the yard. (Bucket List) So, for now, I’m good with “look at all the pretty azaleas”.

What I love about this azalea is that for such a small size (I planted it a couple of years ago), it has great floral impact.

Perhaps the pride and joy of my early flowering azaleas is this fine, bright, yellow-orange, native azalea that I planted several years ago.  Rhododenron austrinum (Florida flame azalea). Bet you can guess how it got it’s name.

And, yes, I have things other than azaleas flowering right now. Like these lovely, perky, little gerbera daisies.  Fortunately, they are perennial here. If you read the Southern Living article from the link in the previous sentence, you may wonder “how did she do it, how did she get them to live?” Well, maybe it is because the soil is very poor (it was some nutrient-poor potting soil I dragged home to build raised beds with years ago), very dry and I never tried to get them to live after planting them three years ago. But they lived! This is their fourth year blooming, and in partial sun. Of course, that partial sun is more than partial in winter when the crapemyrtles have no leaves, imparting additional sunshine to the bed where they are growing.

Ahh, wisteria. I trellised my vine several years ago, but last year we came home to find the entire thing bent over on the ground after a big storm.  A neighbor has two that are grown as standards: one lavender and one white. The white flowering wisteria has the most amazing smell, making my current daily walks with the dachshunds much more enjoyable, especially when I am carrying a bag of dog poo (the dachshunds are elderly, so the walks are slow, and I don’t walk faster than the poo smell). So, here I am with only a half dozen flowering clusters, but they are still pretty.

The Osmanthus (fragrant tea olive) had more flowers before the most recent cold snap, but they are still there, filling my yard with an amazing perfume.

Speaking of perfume…the banana shrubs are really going strong with spring flowers. It is no wonder after working outside all day with two banana shrubs flowering, I end the day with visions of banana flavored cocktails. (yes, I have an issue on this particular plant…some kind of disease on the leaves, which may be why the previous owner cut it down…but no time for evaluation right now…I’m just glad it came back from being cut down to the GROUND).

Well, that’s it for now. Are you enjoying your spring garden? Are you ready for March Madness? Go GREEN! Go Razorbacks!!


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have two or three more blogs to post, but I really need to get an article submitted, bake some bread, hang more laundry, vacuum the carpets, care for a sick dachshund, you know…life.

Yours in Gardening,

 

The Garden Maiden

 

copyright 2018 The Garden Maiden

 

 

 

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Categories: Observations from My Garden of Goods & Evils, What's Blooming | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blooming in My Yard: March 22-28, 2015

Late March flowers in my yard.  Copyright The Garden Maiden http://thegardenmaiden.com

Late March flowers in my yard. Copyright The Garden Maiden http://thegardenmaiden.com

There is a lot of bold color in the yard now with the azaleas taking center stage. The butterflies have been thick on the blooms, busier than I remember the past few years. The butterfly below is what I believe to be an Eastern tiger swallowtail butterfly (Papilio glaucus). Mississippi butterfly list. Click the image for a bigger view. This would be a great time for a spring party because the landscape does some of the decorating for me.

Late March flowers in my yard.  Copyright The Garden Maiden http://thegardenmaiden.com

Late March flowers in my yard. Copyright The Garden Maiden http://thegardenmaiden.com

But they  aren’t the only ones with magnificent color. For the last week the wisteria has been peaking. I’m hoping what I have is Wisteria frutescens (American wisteria), but I am not sure.  The American species is reported to be less aggressive than the Asian species.  Time to do some taxonomic work. Wisteria escapes from landscape cultivation. You can see it escaped into the wild, blooming high up into the tree canopies on the road sides, or you can find it with maximum blooms trained as a standard and trimmed to a 4′ shrub in people’s front yards. My own wisteria (which I dug up from under some shrubs in my yard and transplanted onto an arbor) is more of a loose vine that trails up and over an arbor and onto a nearly dead fruit tree. The dying tree makes an excellent structure for the wisteria to climb upon. This is the first year it has bloomed, having planted a volunteer sprout in the spring of 2013. I hope to train another “volunteer” into a standard that will be heavily pruned for a massive amount of flower clusters in the future.

Late March flowers in my yard.  Copyright The Garden Maiden http://thegardenmaiden.com

Late March flowers in my yard. Copyright The Garden Maiden http://thegardenmaiden.com

The wisteria has a very sweet perfume, that lightly scents the air. But if it is spring perfume you are seeking, then I am excited to share my new acquisition:  a banana shrub (Michelia figo). This member of the magnolia family easily perfumes a fifteen by fifteen foot area near my patio. It smells so delicious I want to eat it, or at least whip up a batch of banana daiquiris. It looked really awful at the nursery, but it was the only one. I hope to make it happy and fertilizer it gently all year with fish emulsion to bring it back to full vigor.

Late March flowers in my yard.  Copyright The Garden Maiden http://thegardenmaiden.com

Late March flowers in my yard. Copyright The Garden Maiden http://thegardenmaiden.com

 

Also blooming now in my front yard, is the native member of the Lamiaceae family: lyreleaf sage. I wrote a bit more about it in a March 2014 post. After it finishes flowering, THEN I’ll mow that part of the yard.

Late March flowers in my yard.  Copyright The Garden Maiden http://thegardenmaiden.com

Late March flowers in my yard. Copyright The Garden Maiden http://thegardenmaiden.com

Although it has been flowering for a while now, the Loropetalum is still quite striking. I guess its pretty easy to see why it has a common name of “fringe flower”.  Have I mentioned my Loropetalum are about 15′ tall? Huge, huge, huge. But you know, I like them like that because they provide a great screen for the rear of my home. Today I was happy to see that the lower area which has thinned out because the branches are so tall (this is what happens when you don’t keep them trimmed to 5-6 feet), now has a lot of new undergrowth. I plan to keep the under branches trimmed to about three feet to keep a good lower screen. Until then I will keep planting other lower shrubs and bulbs that enjoy the space and help to fill in the gaps.

Late March flowers in my yard.  Copyright The Garden Maiden http://thegardenmaiden.com

Late March flowers in my yard. Copyright The Garden Maiden http://thegardenmaiden.com

The final shot for today is a pansy blossom. I got these out of a trash pile that someone had thrown away in changing over from winter color to spring. I can hardly turn away from plants thrown in the trash.

Late March flowers in my yard.  Copyright The Garden Maiden http://thegardenmaiden.com

Late March flowers in my yard. Copyright The Garden Maiden http://thegardenmaiden.com

Your spry garden friend,

The Garden Maiden

All images and text copyright 2015 The Garden Maiden

Categories: Garden Insects, What's Blooming | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blooming in My Yard: February 22-28, 2015

Winter has been busy but I couldn’t let another week go by without featuring some of the plants in the yard this past week.

Blooming in My Yard, final week of February. TheGardenMaiden_copyright_2015

Blooming in My Yard, final week of February. TheGardenMaiden_copyright_2015

The first azalea (Rhododendron spp.)  is in bloom, though not peaking yet. It’s a beautiful hot pink color!

Blooming in My Yard, final week of February. TheGardenMaiden_copyright_2015

Blooming in My Yard, final week of February. TheGardenMaiden_copyright_2015

Daffodils (Narcissus spp.) are classic spring harbingers in nearly every state I’ve resided.

Blooming in My Yard, final week of February. TheGardenMaiden_copyright_2015

Blooming in My Yard, final week of February. TheGardenMaiden_copyright_2015

Though most of the current flowers are in the top 1/3 canopy, lower hanging blossoms are beginning to open on the tall hedge of Loropetalum chinese.

Blooming in My Yard, final week of February. TheGardenMaiden_copyright_2015

Blooming in My Yard, final week of February. TheGardenMaiden_copyright_2015

The first couple of yellow blossoms of Gelsemium sempervirens have opened on my patio.

Blooming in My Yard, final week of February. TheGardenMaiden_copyright_2015

Blooming in My Yard, final week of February. TheGardenMaiden_copyright_2015

My Daphne odora opened flowers a couple of weeks ago. I love to smell its fragrant blossoms.

Toad in My Yard, final week of February. TheGardenMaiden_copyright_2015

Toad in My Yard, final week of February. TheGardenMaiden_copyright_2015

Okay, yes, I know…NOT a blossom. But I could not resist this little toad. Toads have little burrows/holes all over my yard and garden. I love to find them. This particular little dude was hanging out under one of my flower pots. I consider it great luck and a good indicator of environmental health to have many frogs and toads.

Blooming in My Yard, final week of February. TheGardenMaiden_copyright_2015

Blooming in My Yard, final week of February. TheGardenMaiden_copyright_2015

Finally, for this post, a photograph of one of my spring bulbs: a hyacinth. I don’t have any idea which variety, but I was happy to find two of these in a flower bed in my backyard last year.

For many of you I know that spring cannot come soon enough. And although we are fortunate to have mild winters down here, I too, am looking forward to a warmer spring.

Last night and tonight I’ll sleep with the windows open and enjoy a serenade from the nightly frog chorus across the highway.

Yours in Gardening!

The Garden Maiden

All images and text copyright 2015 The Garden Maiden

Categories: What's Blooming | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment
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